There are quite a few people out there who want a mobile phone for making phone calls. I mean just for making phone calls. And maybe for the odd text message. Nothing more.
I know people in this group and they ask me whether such a phone exists. They grumble that when they go into high street phone stores the staff want to sell them music phones, thin phones, internet phones, phones with high resolution cameras, and phones that make tea.
There are, in fact, a number of low cost, low feature phones around to satisfy this need. The last one I looked at in this bracket was Sagem's £20 My215x.
The Alcatel OT-E201 is an even lower cost option. You can get it with an Orange SIM, and you can get it from Woolworth with no SIM at all. I slapped a T-Mobile SIM in my review sample and it worked fine. For £15 it sounds like a bargain for those who ‘just want to make the odd call'.
As you'd expect from a handset in this price bracket the materials it is made from are low cost. The casing is black plastic, with a sort of leather look banding round the edges. There is a silver frame to the screen, and the buttons are also silver with black marking for their numbers, letters and icons.
The number backlight is a rather startling red - Alcatel might have been better off taking the option of a more subtle white, but there's no doubt the backlight means keys do stand out well in the dark.
The phone weighs in at just 69g, which I think makes it the lightest mobile I have ever reviewed. It measures 98mm tall, 42.5mm wide and 18.5mm thick - it'll fit in a pocket easily enough.
A rubbery material has been used for the keys. It feels a little strange under the fingertip, but works well enough and key presses deliver a reassuring tone when pressed. The number keys are well spaced, which means hitting them is easy as pie.